how to cast a spinning reel

How To Cast a Spinning Reel

Easy to use. Extremely versatile. Made for everyone. Learn how to cast a spinning reel.

Spinning reels are easily the most versatile type of reel an angler could use. They’re easy to use, great for both novices and experts, and can be used with a wide variety of lines. While all reels have their specific advantages, spinning reels are by far the most popular reel available. For those who haven’t used a spinning reel before but would like to, here is a simple guide on how to cast a spinning reel.

how to cast a spinning reel - correct way to hold rod
Correct Way To Hold Rod

Firstly, the reel is meant to be held underneath its rod. Some people do flip their reels over, but the rod is meant to have it’s guides rest underneath the pole. Line will flow out from the reel more easily that way, optimizing your casting distance and retrieval. The proper grip from your casting hand should have the reel rest between your two middle fingers, or between your last two fingers. This grip provides the optimal balance of the rod in your hand and will allow you to quickly and easily clench and release the line from your index finger.

Before you cast, ensure the line roller on the bail is at its closest point to your hand- directly underneath your finger. That line roller is where your line will be guided as it’s spun back on to the spool during retrieval. If the line roller is anywhere else on the reel when you cast, you risk catching your fishing line on the various parts of the reel.

With the line roller directly under your hand, gently lift your index finger onto the line. Be sure to create a little tension, but do not bring the line all the way back to the rod. Doing so will again risk your line tangling within your reel. With the line gently clenched, flip open the bail.

Put your other hand on the bottom of the rod and rotate the rod tip around by flipping your wrists. If you’ve watched anyone play lacrosse, the motion is relatively the same. While moving the rod forward towards your target, be sure to release your index finger from the line. You should time this at a point where the pole is moving forward in the motion. If you release the line too soon, the lure will fall behind you. Too late, and the lure will flop quickly into the water just in front of you.

how to cast a spinning reel - Line Roller on Bail
Line Roller on Bail

As your lure sails towards the target, you will want to close the bail manually at the same time it reaches the water. Be sure to manually close the bail- do not try to reel and automatically close the bail. Doing so will add unnecessary strain on the springs of the bail. This will lead to failure of the parts more quickly.

Be sure to get into the habit of setting the line roller closest to your hand before every cast. Also, practice flipping the bail open and closed manually. The more comfortable you get doing these things, the better performance you will get on the water.

Then, you too could teach someone how to cast a spinning reel.

The last thing to pay attention to is the drag. On most spinning reels, the drag can be set on the front of the spool. Some reels have it on the back of the reel. The ideal setting for your drag is to be able to pull the line with some resistance, but not a lot. Allowing the line to peel off the reel with some resistance will help prevent unnecessary stress on the fishing line, resulting in broken line.

For additional help, check out these videos on fishing with a spinning reel. To learn how to put line on a spinning reel, click here.

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